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Big 5 personality traits are correlated with success in the workplace?

Prepare yourself for the next interview with HR

Its very important for the candidates to know the secrets of recruitment before they proceed to an interview. The recruiter might scrutinize more based on the Big 5 traits, popular in HR practices. In contemporary psychology, theBig Five traits of personalityare five broad domains which define human personality and account for individual differences. Big 5 will play a vital role in your placement, lets understand more about it.

Different companies boast different techniques for recruitment, a candidate has to go through a certain procedure before he qualifies for a face to face interview and there is more. We organized recruitment open days for a few companies last year and they all had their own ways of conducting interviews, one company had 5 recruiters sitting in separate rooms and interviewed the candidates one by one. The other company organized fun activities for candidates, everyone was having fun and couldnt understand a thing. Face to face interview was only less than 5 minutes. Least they knew, they were observed for their traits. A leadership role or a line-level, you should know about the HR interview technique for your next interview.

TheBig Five personality traits, also known as thefive-factor model(FFM) and theOCEAN model, is a taxonomy for personality traits. The five factors have been defined as openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism, often represented by the acronymsOCEANorCANOE. Beneath each proposed global factor, there are a number of correlated and more specific primary factors. For example, extraversion is said to include such related qualities as gregariousness, assertiveness, excitement seeking, warmth, activity, and positive emotions.

That these underlying factors can be found is consistent with the lexical hypothesis: personality characteristics that are most important in peoples lives will eventually become a part of their language and, secondly, that more important personality characteristics are more likely to be encoded into the language as a single word.

The five factors are:

  • Openness to experience:(inventive/curiousvs.consistent/cautious). Appreciation for art, emotion, adventure, unusual ideas, curiosity, and variety of experience. Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent and depicts a personal preference for a variety of activities over a strict routine. High openness can be perceived as unpredictability or lack of focus, and more likely to engage in risky behavior or drug taking. Also, individuals that have high openness tend to lean, in occupation and hobby, towards the arts, being, typically, creative and appreciative of the significance of intellectual and artistic pursuits. Moreover, individuals with high openness are said to pursue self-actualization specifically by seeking out intense, euphoric experiences.
  • Conversely, those with low openness seek to gain fulfillment through perseverance and are characterized as pragmatic and data-drivensometimes even perceived to be dogmatic and closed-minded. Some disagreement remains about how to interpret and contextualize the openness factor.
  • Conscientiousness(efficient/organizedvs.easy-going/careless). A tendency to be organized and dependable, show self-discipline, act dutifully, aim for achievement, and prefer planned rather than spontaneous behavior. High conscientiousness is often perceived as being stubborn and focused. Low conscientiousness is associated with flexibility and spontaneity but can also appear as sloppiness and lack of reliability.
  • Extraversion(outgoing/energeticvs.solitary/reserved). Energetic, surgency, assertiveness, sociability and the tendency to seek stimulation in the company of others, and talkativeness. High extraversion is often perceived as attention-seeking and domineering. Low extraversion causes a reserved, reflective personality, which can be perceived as aloof or self-absorbed. Extroverted people may appear more dominant in social settings, as opposed to introverted people in this setting.
  • Agreeableness(friendly/compassionatevs.challenging/detached). A tendency to be compassionate, and cooperative rather than suspicious and antagonistic towards others. It is also a measure of ones trusting and helpful nature, and whether a person is generally well-tempered or not. High agreeableness is often seen as naive or submissive. Low agreeableness personalities are often competitive or challenging people, which can be seen as argumentative or untrustworthy.
  • Neuroticism(sensitive/ A tendency to be prone to psychological stress. The tendency to experience unpleasant emotions easily, such as anger, anxiety, depression, and vulnerability. Neuroticism also refers to the degree of emotional stability and impulse control and is sometimes referred to by its low pole, emotional stability. High stability manifests itself as a stable and calm personality but can be seen as uninspiring and unconcerned. Low stability manifests as the reactive and excitable personality often found in dynamic individuals but can be perceived as unstable or insecure. Also, individuals with higher levels of neuroticism tend to have worse psychological well being.

People who do not exhibit a clear predisposition to a single factor in each dimension above are considered adaptable, moderate and reasonable, yet they can also be perceived as unprincipled, inscrutable and calculating. Depending on how much of each trait a person has, it could make someone more susceptible to participating in certain activities.

Family life and the way someone was raised will also affect these traits. Twin studies and other research have shown that about half of the variation between individuals results from their genetics and half from their environments. Researchers have found conscientiousness, extraversion, openness to experience, and neuroticism to be relatively stable from childhood through adulthood.

Work success

Controversy exists as to whether or not the Big 5 personality traits are correlated with success in the workplace.

Within organizational communication, personality is taken into account how a person carries themselves in the workplace. The five-factor personality theory encompasses five different personalities which are as follows: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Openness is being original and having imagination. Conscientiousness is being goal oriented with a willingness to achieve. Extraversion is being sociable and being an emotionally positive person. Agreeableness is being able to adapt and as a leader make necessary accommodations. The last personality trait was neuroticism which is usually when a leader tends to be negative emotionally and having a need for stability.

It is believed that the Big Five traits are predictors of future performance outcomes. Job outcome measures include job and training proficiency and personal data. However, research demonstrating such prediction has been criticized, in part because of the apparently low correlation coefficients characterizing the relationship between personality and job performance.

The problem with personality tests is that the validity of personality measures as predictors of job performance is often disappointingly low. The argument for using personality tests to predict performance does not strike me as convincing in the first place.

There have been studies that link national innovation to openness to experience and conscientiousness. Those who express these traits have shown leadership and beneficial ideas towards the country of origin. Some businesses, organizations, and interviewers assess individuals based on the Big Five personality traits. Research has suggested that individuals who are considered leaders typically exhibit lower amounts of neurotic traits, maintain higher levels of openness (envisioning success), balanced levels of conscientiousness (well-organized), and balanced levels of extraversion (outgoing, but not excessive).

These three categories of behavior can then be directed towards three different levels: either the individual, team or organizational level leading to the nine different work role performance possibilities.

Opennessis positively related to proactivity at the individual and the organizational levels and is negatively related to team and organizational proficiency. These effects were found to be completely independent of one another.

Agreeablenessis negatively related to individual task proactivity.

Extraversionis negatively related to individual task proficiency.

Consciousnessis positively related to all forms of work role performance.

Neuroticismis negatively related to all forms of work role performance.

In essence, expectations of the role sender lead to different behavioral outcomes depending on the trait levels of individual workers and because people differ in trait levels, responses to these cues will not be universal.